How to Make an Amazing Solo Trio from Delhi to Aru Valley Pahalgam
Aru Valley,  Jammu and Kashmir,  My Experience

How to make an Amazing Solo Trip from Delhi to Aru Valley Kashmir

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Going on a Solo Trip to Aru Valley in Kashmir is itself a challenging task and that too by road. I will try to get things sorted for this long journey.

I request to Keep yourself connected, have a seat, bring some coffee and donuts to eat because this will be going to be a complete Aru Valley Pahalgam guide.

So, stay connected until the end.

We would be taking our starting destination as Delhi –

How to reach from Delhi to Jammu

To reach Aru Valley first you have to reach Jammu ➡️ Srinagar ➡️ Pahalgam.

In this long journey, our first motive should be reaching Jammu from Delhi.

Delhi to Pahalgam distance is around 800km-820km approx. & we will’be dividing the journey into different parts.

i.e listed below are the options which you can choose –

1. Delhi to Jammu by Bus

Delhi has the bus connectivity to all its neighboring states and towns. You can board an overnight Volvo bus from Delhi to Jammu, almost every day the buses run on this route. You will not be going to face any kind of issues in boarding or finding the place for your bus to Jammu.

2. Delhi to Jammu by Train

Daily trains run from NDLS to Jammu Railway Station. The train journey would be relaxing but you need to book the tickets months back. Because it will not be easily possible to get the AC tickets/Confirmed tickets on the spot.

3. Delhi to Jammu/Srinagar by Flight

This would be the fastest way to reach Jammu or either Srinagar. Since your target location is Pahalgam.

i.e. reaching as close as possible comfortably would be going to sound good.

Jammu to Srinagar

After reaching Jammu, our second motive would be to reach Srinagar from Jammu.

The state buses run from Jammu to Srinagar on a daily basis. It would take around another 9-10 hrs to reach Srinagar from Jammu by bus. But it would not be possible for the majority of the people to travel straight away after the tiring Delhi to Jammu trip.

So you might look for an option of staying a night at Jammu and travel the next day to Srinagar.

If by chance you wouldn’t able to find the direct bus then you can take a shared cab to Srinagar. It would take around 8hrs and will going to drop you either at a fixed spot or at your desired location.

If you had a plan to explore Srinagar first before moving the journey ahead, here’s how you can spend a memorable 24hrs in Srinagar.

Srinagar to Pahalgam

After reaching Srinagar, our third motive would be to reach Pahalgam from Srinagar.

There are direct buses from Srinagar to Pahalgam.

Exception

If you are traveling in the month of Amarnath Ji Yatra then you might face some difficulties in finding the direct buses to Pahalgam.

The cost of hiring a private taxi solely would be going to be high as well.

The Srinagar to Pahalgam distance is around 90km.

In the case of bus option not available you have to divide your journey into two parts from Srinagar to reach Pahalgam. There are shared cabs available carrying almost 7-8 people per cab.

Let us look at the points in detail –

1. Srinagar to Anantnag/Islamabad by shared taxi

This would be your first part of traveling from Srinagar towards the Pahalgam.

You have to reach the HP petrol pump near Jan Bakers which is a few minutes of walk away from Dal gate, high five if you are staying near Dal Lake or in a houseboat (approx. 15-20 minutes’ walk).

The cab will be going to charge Rs.100 from Srinagar to Anantnag/Islamabad and it will be 55-56km of a smooth drive.

*Don’t get confused in Anantnag/Islamabad – You can opt for any of the cabs.

 2. Anantnag/Islamabad to Pahalgam by shared taxi

This would be the second part of traveling from Anantnag/Islamabad towards the Pahalgam.

You will be going to be dropped at Anantnag taxi stand and from there take a shared taxi to Pahalgam again.

The cab will charge Rs.80 and the driving distance will be around 40km, the cab will drop you in Pahalgam.

Pahalgam is situated at an elevation of 2740m which will much higher than Srinagar’s 1585m.

How to reach Aru Valley from Pahalgam

If you can recall we have a total of 4 times that we had changed either traveling from bus to shared cabs.

Okay, now since you have reached Pahalgam.

This would be the last cab sharing to reach Aru Valley in Pahalgam.

The Pahalgam to Aru Valley distance is around 12km. You can take a shared taxi, Pahalgam to Aru Valley taxi fare would be around Rs.50 for outsiders and Rs.30 for the local people. (Prices may be subject to change)

Let’s move forward,

Finally, you had reached Aru Valley Pahalgam after so much of exchanging the means of transport. Really hectic, right? But it would be a fun & full of experience journey. I am sure that you hadn’t changed that many buses & shared cabs ever before to reach your destination.

Aru Valley in Pahalgam

You will realize that after reaching Aru Valley in Pahalgam every step would be worth the efforts. You’ll totally be mesmerized by the landscape and natural beauty that Aru Valley has to offer.

Please have a look at the video on Aru Valley and don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube Channel (Pretty new there) –

Aru Valley Pahalgam is the base for many adventure activities like trekking in summers and skiing in winters. If you’re not aware that you can also do mountaineering & winter sports courses in Pahalgam. That includes Skiing & Trekking as well.

Hotel and Guesthouse Options in the Valley

After reaching Aru Valley Pahalgam, the first thing you will do is search for a place to stay.

Listed below are the Aru Valley Hotels and Guesthouse options available –

1. Friends Guest House

Friends Guest House
Friends Guest House

The cab will drop you right in the center of Aru and on the corner, you will see friend’s tea stall, the next to this is Friends Guest House.

Just as the name suggests make friends from all over the world.

You will find a room between Rs.800 – Rs.1200 per night (can be subject to change depending upon season).

2. Fimi Hotel

Fimi Hotel
Fimi Hotel

The Hotel Fimi looks good from all the hotels in Aru but it was under construction when I went to Aru Valley, hopefully, it will open soon. You can always check on this.

3. Hotel Milky Way

Hotel Milky Way
Hotel Milky Way

Milky way is next to hotel Fimi.

There is a total combination of 4-5 hotels and guesthouses in the Valley.

4. Rohella Guest House

Rohella Guest House
Rohella Guest House

A walk in the village and you’ll be going to find this guest house on the opposite line of Friends Guest House in the end.

5. Aru Heights Guest House

View from Backyard of Aru Heights Guest House
View from Backyard of Aru Heights Guest House

I can write a complete article on Aru Heights because I stayed here during my visit to Aru Valley.

Aru height is located on the route to Lidderwat. A room will cost you around Rs.500 – Rs.1000. A family manages this guesthouse who plays the role of everyone, from cleaning to cooking they do everything by themselves.

Hotel Alpine and Restaurant

A Hotel and Restaurant from J&K Tourism Corp. Department
A Hotel and Restaurant from J&K Tourism Corp. Department

A hotel by J&K tourism department corporation.

Have you thought of living in a home surrounded by mountains and greenery all around and a big garden in front of your house?

Your wish has just come true, Hotel alpine is located right at the point of attraction.

A room at Hotel alpine for a night will cost Rs.1315. Yes, it’s a luxury hotel, i.e. decision depends upon person to person and their needs.

Whether what to choose….

Basic stay vs luxury stay.

Garden in Aru
Garden in Aru

Q. Why Aru Valley Is Majorly known to foreign tourists?

A. The answer I got from my personal experience is summarized in points below –

A Majority of foreign tourists are from Israel.

Israel people love few parts of India as you have also witnessed in Kasol, Dharamkot, McLeod Ganj and many more parts of Himalayas.

Important factors are – Cheap accommodation like you will get a room in Aru in-between Rs.300 – Rs500, Low-cost good food, adventure activities like trekking (As I told Aru is base for many treks), peaceful surroundings in the foothills of the mountain and away from any city bustle.

i.e. these are some of the important reasons that make Aru Valley a foreign tourist favorite spot in Pahalgam Kashmir.

Weather in the Himalayas

Weather in the Himalayas is highly unpredictable, I had visited at the starting of July, call it summers and pre-monsoon season.

  1. The days are very sunny like you will literally sweat if you keep walking for a few minutes.
  2. Evening brings rain and cold wind.
  3. The nights are cold and windy.

In winter people shift to the lower region because the place gets filled with snow.

i.e. you cannot predict the weather by looking at the sky, it’s advised to carry extra precautions.

For e.x- half t-shirts and shorts, a raincoat and umbrella, jacket and warm caps.

Weather is Unpredictable on Mountains
Weather is Unpredictable on Mountains

Best season to visit Aru Valley

The best season is undoubtedly the starting of summers that is from April till pre-monsoon that is July and then post monsoon that is Sept to Nov.

*Monsoon season brings landslide and roadblocks i.e. It’s not an ideal time to visit.

I hope many of you have seen the video footage over the years of the landslides on the Jammu – Srinagar highway. It’s highly not recommended to go in monsoon season.

Getting Around Aru Valley

Getting around Aru Valley
Getting around Aru Valley

You can explore Aru Valley on your foot.

It’s a very small place and it generally going to take max to max 2hr – 3hr in exploring the whole area unless and until you indulge in any fun/adventure activities.

Adventure Activities in the Valley

Aru Valley Pahalgam is full of adventurous activities like –

  1. You can trek to some of the most beautiful lakes Tarsar Marsar & Katarnag lake, and many more.

*Note – The Rates shown below in the image might be subject to change. You must ask on the spot before making a decision.

Treks from Aru Valley Pahalgam
Treks from Aru Valley Pahalgam

You can also do pony rides if you are not a fan of trekking.

In Around Aru Valley Pahalgam
In Around Aru Valley Pahalgam

A Horse ride (pony ride) to Green top, Kooth Pathri, and River point. Check out the image above for rates and where you can go.

You can camp under the stars or can just lye down on the ground fields.

There are multiple things you can do in Aru Valley for a memorable time.

Restaurants in Aru Valley

Currently, there are two restaurants in Aru Valley Pahalgam, they are –

  1. Sagar Restaurant
  2. Poonam Restaurant

They are next to each other; you can easily spot them.

*Must try Kashmiri Kahwa.

Let me tell you what did I told while ordering Kashmiri Kahwa–

Me – One Keshwa please,

Person – Looked strangely, what Keshwa here ?.

Person – After 2 sec, it’s Kahwa.

Me – OH, yes

Medicine Store in Aru Valley

(I know that Aru Travel Guide is going deep, but I am sharing my experience and that will going to help you).

If you get any injuries during adventuring or feeling low then there’s a medical store called Riaz medical store.

Local people say that he provides very good medicines.

After the trek, my whole body was in pain & I straight away went to Riaz medical store to get some medicines.

After 3-4hr I felt really good like I can go again for another trek right then.

Children's of Kooth Pathri (Aru Valley Pahalgam)
Children’s of Kooth Pathri (Aru Valley Pahalgam)

Things to do in Aru Valley Pahalgam with Friends and Family

Outing in Aru Valley is itself a magnificent decision and that too with family. Let’s see what all you can do with your family in Aru –

1. Trekking to Lidderwat/Tarsar Lake

If you and your friends & family are fond of treks then Trek to Lidderwat might fascinate you. Hence, if you want to experience crystal clear white sheet of the lake then trek further to Tarsar lake (Might not see ice lake in post summers).

  • Trek to Lidderwat will be of 1 day on foot, you can camp there and come back the next day.
  • You can also opt for horses; it will take 1 day and you can come back the same day on horses.

You have to hire a guide in both cases.

And

If you want to trek further till Tarsar lake, then you have to take some time off because it takes 2 nights and 3 days to back on your base that is Aru Valley.

2. Enjoy a Pony Ride

Hip-Hop on a pony as the guide will take you across beautiful green parts of the valley and enjoy the Kashmir landscape.

3. Spend time in J&K Tourism park

Hotel Alpine has a big park where you can chill with your family, click pictures and can play cricket too. It’s a perfect outing park in the valley where you don’t feel like going home.

4. Morning walk in the quiet village of Aru

Don’t make any assumptions about the morning walk as it is a normal village walk where-

Horses are tied in ropes,

People are leaving with goats.

Mobile Connectivity in Aru

Connectivity in Aru Valley Pahalgam
Connectivity in Aru Valley Pahalgam

I am glad that there’s no connectivity in the Aru Valley. But to be honest, I had faced difficulties in reaching out to my home.

i.e. Every time I was asking the locals to give me their phones for a few minute’s call.

Only BSNL works in the Aru Valley and no other network operator. No Airtel, Voda, or any other network provider is available but JIO is coming soon in Aru as one of the locals told me.

*Note – Remember that only postpaid sim works in the Kashmir region.

Budget Required for Aru Valley

It’s hard to tell the budget required because everybody has different preferences.

But as a person who would prefer staying in a luxury hotel as compared to the other budgeted hotels the difference is bound to arise.

Anyways,

Let’s try to calculate the budget for 2 days for a single person in Aru valley Pahalgam –

*Note – The prices are subject to change

Reaching Aru Valley from Delhi by road and return would be around Rs. 1700-1800 (one way)

Stay and food – Rs 2300 – Rs 2400

Any adventure activity, can’t predict here because it varies.

For e.x: – a pony horse ride to Green top = Rs. 350 and a trek to Tarsar around = Rs 5000 – 6000.

On an average = Rs. 6000 – Rs 7000 (Including Adventure activity like pony ride around the valley)

And Rs. 10,000 -Rs.11,000 (Including Adventure activity like longer treks).

Conclusion

This takes us to the end of the Aru Valley Pahalgam guide. The conclusion arises here is that Aru Valley has been gaining popularity among youngsters and families, all age groups to be honest because of the things involved to keep people intact at least for a few days.

But don’t make this place like other gems which have turned into polluted areas like the throwing of garbages, not traveling responsibly and many more.

i.e try to keep this place the same as nature has offered to us.

I hope that I have covered every necessary aspect that one is required to know.

If still, something is missing, comment down below and I will let you know or you can ask me on Instagram or Facebook.

Please Share and Follow this blog for future happenings on crossroadadventure.

And

Happy and Safe Traveling.

Until then, see you on the roads.

Vansh Tiwari
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